FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — In a matter of weeks, children will be returning back to classrooms for another year of school.
For a lot of families, that means returning to regular routines they’re used to during the school year. According to a northeast Indiana pediatrician, it should also mean kids returning to a regular sleep cycle.
Parkview pediatrician Dr. Gresham Susan George said parents should start working on getting kids back into that regular sleep cycle at least a week before school starts. Waiting until the last minute is a bad option.
“Because the kids take time to get accustomed and get back to the schedule. So, if your schedule is not back to normal by school’s start, it’s going to effect the school, and the learning, and all the development once it starts,” Dr. George said.
A lack of sleep can seriously effect students in the long-run, and can also have long-term health effects, according to Dr. George.
Kids need a minimum of eight hours of sleep, she said, but eight to 10 is recommended.
“If you’re lacking any of that, then your academic performances, your memory and even your behavior, like, kids who lack sleep have more externalizing behavior,” Dr. Georgesaid.
Children can become hyperactive or inattentive due to a lack of sleep. The doctor also said that high school kids can put themselves in danger of injury when they don’t get enough sleep.
An example she gave was kids who drive to school are more likely to get in an accident if they’re tired.
While the short-term effects of not getting enough sleep can impact your child’s performance in school, Dr. George said it can lead to obesity and diabetes in the long-run.
That’s why getting your kids accustomed to a regular sleep schedule is so important.
She also said a great way to help kids sleep is keeping them away from the blue light that comes from screens like cell phones and tablets.
Dr. George said there shouldn’t be any screen time for an hour to an hour and a half before going to bed.